Under 15s Report – The Good the Bad, The Ugly!

Report from Steve Poulter 

In true cinematic fashion, the Under 15 Oaks played back-to-back matches on Thursday and Friday. Could they produce two epic masterpieces like The Godfather 1 and 2, or would they treat us to some bum-numbing drivel like the Star Wars prequels? Only time and the following misspelt, grammatically incorrect, and potentially libelous reports will tell.

Oakley vs Old Basing at the O.K.ley Corral

Old Basing rode into town Thursday evening with a score sheet reading like the plot of a spaghetti western (there’s some right cowboys out there), and it’s not entirely clear what actually happened. Still, myth and legend tell of the following slugfest.

The sun was blazing high in the sky, and a tumbleweed may or may not have rolled across the lower outfield. The Old Basing team gathered menacingly outside the Oakley clubhouse. Joby, the Oakley skipper, strode down from the veranda, his spurs clinking upon the steps. The skippers eyed each other appraisingly. Joby casually won the toss. “We’ll bat,” he said from between toothpick-clenched teeth. The Old Basing skipper spat into the conveniently located spittoon and turned to lead his men to the field.

Bhiela and George strode out to the crease. Bhiela lined up to face the first ball as somewhere in the world a clock tower chimed 12 noon. The Old Basing skipper fired down the first ball, and Bhiela hammered it back for 4. First blood to Oakley.

Four balls later, though, the skipper had his man, clean bowling Bhiela (4). George (1) joined him two overs later, caught and bowled, their skipper again proving deadly. Oakley looking sucker-punched at 7 for 2 from 3 overs.

Slow and Steady or All Guns Blazing?

Zac and Will, now at the crease, needed to keep it tight and displayed some gun-steely eyes to see off the deadly opening bowlers. Scoring slow, they finally saw them off to get into the soft underbelly of the opposition bowling team. Both then proceeded to ride their luck hard, gunning for glory with some great shots, but offering up a few chances which thankfully Old Basing decided not to take.

Will (40), after plundering some fabulous boundaries, cashed in his chips, and Zac (11) joined him a few overs later, both retired not out. Skipper Joby (33) picked up where Will left off, with a classy innings retired not out, while Harrison (27) hit an excellent 27 before being caught.

Young Tom McCarthy, in the role of Billy the Kid, picked up a glorious and warmly cheered 2 before being clean bowled. Jake and Brin saw out the few remaining balls with no drama, and Oakley had turned a slow start into a pretty solid 152 for 4.

Basing Bat

Old Basing seemed to want to get the job done quickly, and their openers came in all guns blazing. They quickly moved to 30 before George picked up the first wicket. The skipper and his deadly bowling partner carried on blazing, and both retired, having given Old Basing a good platform to secure.

Could Oakley bring it back from the brink of defeat?

Well, with the bullets flying thick and fast, the game turned intriguing, and the gunfire smoke began to block visibility for the scorers to accurately record just what the bloody hell was happening. We do know that Oakley steadily picked up some wickets at key moments. Good fielding and bowling by all was key though. Wickets for George and Harrison, with a catch from Brin at some point. Will took an excellent caught and bowled, while younger brother Tom was throwing himself behind the stumps like a man possessed.

With 4 overs to go, Old Basing needed 20 runs to win. However, excellent bowling from Harrison, Will, and Joby left them needing 9 from the last over.

Bird Flies High

With the sun now fading in the sky and the vultures circling to pick over the carcass of the defeated team, George had the cherry for the last over and produced two excellent dot-ball deliveries. Then, as can only be expected from an Oakley team, the next ball was a wide. The momentum swung back to Old Basing as they now needed 4 to win from 3 balls and had their last key batsman on strike.

George tipped his invisible Stetson, steamed in, and bowled an absolute peach to blow the stumps to bits. Old Basing reeled, clutching a fatal bullet to the heart, and two more dot balls from George gave Oakley the win by 4 runs!

Like the heroes they are, they gathered round coaches Kris and Dave for a post-match chat and then rode off into the sunset.

The Sequel Stinks

The next day, the team rode into Yately looking to giant-kill the Yately posse. However, this was no stunning sequel, more a Jaws: The Revenge bomb at the box office.

On the smallest pitch ever, clearly designed for Oompa Loompas to play on, Oakley never got going with bat or ball. Joby took 4 catches, but overall the team struggled to contain Yately, who raked up 154 from 18 overs. With Yately bowling really well, the pressure to score big saw too many holing out too early, and only 3 players got into double figures. Brin, Bhiela, and Owen played some fine shots as the Oakley tail wagged hard but couldn’t see the Oaks home, and they finished with 120 all out.

So it’s all about the league this season, and with 2 wins on the board, who knows what might happen over the coming weeks!